Trademark

by Timothy Geigner


Filed Under:
eu, europe, trademark

Companies:
big horn, red bull



Red Bull Fails To Block Trademark Registration In EU Over Logos That Aren't All That Similar

from the locking-horns dept

While it is by no means the most litigious beverage company ever, Red Bull is not a complete stranger to trademark bullying. The last we heard from the iconic energy drink company, it was making legal arguments over bovines and their castrated status somehow rising to the level of trademark infringement. It seems that Red Bull typically likes to do its bullying during the trademark application status rather than in legal proceedings, but the universe is currently running an experiment to see just how hard and fast a rule this is for the company.

That experiment takes the form of Red Bull attempting, and failing, to oppose the trademark registration for a beverage company called "Big Horn" over the following logos.

Now, the link above is from a site dedicated to "brand protection", so all of the language in the post is of the variety that thinks Red Bull was totally right and the decision against the opposition was wrong. But, come on, how much public confusion is there really going to be over those logos? To be fair to that original post, it points out that Big Horn uses this logo on beverage cans that do call back to Red Bull's, but Red Bull didn't make that argument in its opposition. Instead, it simply argued that the logos were too similar. They're not, even when you try to parse things out with language such as:

Red Bull based its opposition on the registration of the two bulls logo, i.e. without the word Red Bull. If you compare this with the Big Horn logo they are quite similar, given that both depict two animals leaping towards each other with a yellow ball in the background.

"Yellow ball." That's the sun, actually. In the case of the Big Horn logo, it's the sun rising over mountains, which aren't present in Red Bull's logo. And the animals in question are different. As are the color schemes. Not to mention that Big Horn has their big name pasted in big letters over the logo. It makes perfect sense that EUIPO thought that Big Horn had enough of a case if this ever goes to a trademark lawsuit to defend itself, no matter how many citations of EUIPO making the opposite and wrong decision on Red Bull oppositions the original post can make.

So, we'll wait and see if Red Bull actually wants to take this trial. If that happens, I would think that demonstrating real or potential public confusion would be pretty difficult.


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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 19 Nov 2018 @ 1:40pm

    Red Bull based its opposition on the registration of the two bulls logo, i.e. without the word Red Bull.

    Umm... those are clearly rams in the Big Horn version. This makes me wonder if someone's been spiking the Red Bull folks' energy drinks with maybe something a bit stronger than caffeine...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Gary (profile), 19 Nov 2018 @ 4:27pm

    This suit....

    ...is Bull.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2018 @ 4:34pm

    They should sue wallstreet

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    akshay, 20 Nov 2018 @ 12:09am

    this...

    and the red bull is here

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    John Smith, 20 Nov 2018 @ 1:45am

    Apparently Geigner moonlights as a lawyer, the kind Masnick hires to make fun of honest companies having their IP raped by pirates. This will certainly help to advance the police investigation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2018 @ 3:24am

      Re:

      John go outside and enjoy the big yellow ball in the sky (TM), and take your meds.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2018 @ 6:07am

      Re:

      Apparently John Smith moonlights as a lawyer, the kind scumbag companies hire to pursue bad trademark and copyright claims in the hopes of shaking down business folk out of their hard-earned cash. This will certainly help to advance the lack of a police investigation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 20 Nov 2018 @ 10:25am

      Re:

      "This will certainly help to advance the police investigation."

      Uh huh. Liable, EffBeeEye "investigations." "Police" investigations, "Google" investigations.

      Mr. Clarke III, you expose yourself wherever you show up. Shall I send you another Xmas gift this year? Methinks Sr. liked it more than you did. LOL!!!
      Impotent little poodle.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2018 @ 10:55am

      Re:

      The word impotent follows you around like a bad smell.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 20 Nov 2018 @ 6:27am

    Similarity

    I would point out that both logos have shades of yellow.

    Both logos have only two colors.
    One is yellow and black.
    The other is yellow and red.
    The logos have some symmetry.
    Both logos are two dimensional.

    Once you spot the similarities between the logos it is clear there must be infringement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      tp, 21 Nov 2018 @ 11:49pm

      Re: Similarity

      > Both logos are two dimensional.

      If this becomes a problem in the future, I can design 3d logos for your company... It just costs a little.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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